For this post, I will be talking about my experiences with composting- and what I’ve learned along the way. I’m not going to pretend that I know everything there is to know (because I really don’t) but I can share how I (as a college student) began my composting journey. As a vegetarian, I eat a ton of fruits and vegetables, or at least try to incorporate them in most meals.
For this reason, I started noticing how much food waste or scraps I was ending up with every week. I felt guilty throwing away these scraps and so I started saving them in a bag to eventually take to a composting center near campus or in the greater Twin Cities area. Very important point: keep your scraps in the freezer until you’re ready to take them to the compost, otherwise you will end up with a very unpleasant bag of rotting food in your apartment/home/etc. With all the uncertainty amidst the coronavirus pandemic, I went back home to Wisconsin and moved back in with my family.
It was with access to my backyard that I was inspired to start a real, larger, compost bin for my family. I ordered a compost bin from amazon (link below) and assembled it once it came. To start the compost bin, you first do a layer of fallen leaves, twigs and other yard waste. Next, you add soil (preferably from where a garden would be or where plants grow) and add that on top. It should be a few inches of these first two layers. Next, you add on any food scraps you have! Easy as that! One other tip is to make sure you avoid putting eggs, meat or fat into the compost bin, as it will be hard to properly decompose. The whole process of getting “humus,” or organic soil matter, takes about 7-8 weeks- so regularly mix the compost bin with a pitchfork.
With my brother, mom and I all contributing to this bin, I have seen firsthand the amount of food that goes to waste that could instead be used to create nutrient-dense soil for gardens and yards. I highly recommend looking into composting as an easy way to reduce your waste- and to create food for whatever new plant babies you want to grow!
Link to compost bin: